Vertigo Releasing has acquired U.K. and Ireland distribution rights from HanWay Films for Berlin Film Festival title Andrew Levitas’ “Minamata,” starring Johnny Depp, Hiroyuki Sanada, Minami and Tadanobu Asano, and will release the film Feb. 12, 2021.
Depp plays war photographer W. Eugene Smith who travels to Japan where he documents the devastating effect of mercury poisoning in coastal communities.
The film was developed by Depp’s Infinitum Nihil and produced through Metalwork Pictures. Producers are Sam Sarkar, Bill Johnson, Gabrielle Tana, Kevan Van Thompson, David K. Kessler, Zach Avery, Levitas and Depp.
HanWay Films, which is overseeing international sales and distribution, has also closed deals with Eagle Pictures (Italy), Swift Distribution (France), Odeon S.A. (Greece), Films4U (Portugal), BG Filmcilik (Turkey), Beta Film (Bulgaria), Discovery Film (former Yugoslavia), Forum Film (Poland), Exponenta Film (CIS), FrontRow Filmed Ent (Middle East), Rialto Distribution (Australia/New Zealand), Longride Inc. (Japan), Intercontinental Films (Hong Kong), PVR (India), Shaw Organisation (Singapore), Fox Networks Group (SE Asian Pay TV), Cai Chang Intl. (Taiwan) and M Pictures Ent (Thailand).
Meanwhile, Wildcard Distribution and Altitude Films have announced that “Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds With Shane MacGowan,” directed by Julien Temple, will open in U.K. and Ireland cinemas from Nov. 20. The film is a cinematic exploration of the work of poet, punk and member of the music group The Pogues, Shane MacGowan.
It is produced by Depp, Stephen Deuters, Stephen Malit and Temple for Infinitum Nihil, Nitrate Films, HanWay Films, BBC Music and Warner Music Entertainment. Wild Atlantic is the Irish co-producer on the project, which received funding from Screen Ireland. HanWay is handling international sales.
The film had its world premiere at the San Sebastian Film Festival last month where it won the Special Jury Prize.
U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has commissioned factual producer Blink Films for one-off documentary “Diana: The Truth Behind the Interview.”
The documentary will detail the story behind the 1995 BBC Panorama interview that Diana, Princess of Wales, did with journalist Martin Bashir, where she revealed intimate details of her own private life, her husband Prince Charles‘ affair with Camilla Parker Bowles, and indicated she did not want to become Queen of England.
Directed by Andy Webb (“I Was There”), the documentary is commissioned for Channel 4 by Fatima Salaria and is being overseen there by Shaminder Nahal. It is being distributed internationally by Fremantle.
Meanwhile, Rogan Productions’ “Diana: The Interview That Shocked the World,” on the same subject, will air Oct. 11 on rival U.K. broadcaster Channel 5.
SHORT FORM SHOWS
MTV International is expanding its digital slate with two new remotely filmed short-form shows made for YouTube and Facebook.
“Celebrity Bumps Mike + Perri,” which bowed Thursday across MTV International and BET International’s social pages, follows former athletes and television personalities Mike Edwards and Perri Shakes-Drayton Edwards as they embark on their biggest challenge yet, becoming parents. The six 11-minute episodes are made by Appeal TV and executive produced by managing director Jake Attwell of Appeal TV, and by Jaime Brannan and Craig Orr for MTV International.
In MTV’s “Living the Dream,” “Love Island” alumni Michael Griffiths, Chris Taylor, Jordan Hames and Danny Williams film themselves documenting the highs and lows of their bromance such as moving in together, playing pranks and more. It debuts Oct. 16. The eight 11-minute episodes are made by True North and executive produced by Rebecca Saponiere and Fiona O’Sullivan for True North and by Jaime Brannan and Craig Orr for MTV International.